Thursday, December 30, 2010

Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2010 Review

 Just in time for your New Year's Eve comparison shopping expedition: a look back at the single malt Scotch whiskys that ended up on my (mostly gardening) Twitter page during the latter half of 2010. The early 2010 reviews can be found here.

But before imbibing in 140-character alcoholic blatherings, a few notes about the year in single malt Scotch (in my cabinet, anyway):

All of these are of moderate cost. You won't find anything here that costs more than $80. Most are in the $30-$50 range. Three of them are around $20 (Lismore, Finlaggan, Ileach). The term "abv": alcohol by volume. 40% abv, for example, would be 80 proof.

Best Buy of the Year: the Lismore 3 pack, available at Trader Joe's (here in the West) for $29.95. These generous-sized samplers (200 ml) run the gamut from mild and tasty (Lismore 40% abv) to "whoosh" (Lismore 50% abv...that's 100 proof!). The standout of the three: the Lismore 21 year old (43% abv). If you can find Lismore 21 in a standard sized bottle, it would cost around $150. The sherry-honey-toffee aroma is excellent; the menthol-infused taste is smooth without being overpowering. It is warming all the way down.

Best Choices for Gift-Giving: the Lismore 40% abv, Bowmore Legend, Macallan 10 Fine Oak, and Glenfarclas 10. To call these middle-of-the-road is unfair. Their smoothness is not a weakness; their aroma and flavor are enjoyed by all. If in doubt, give the Macallan 10 Fine Oak (about $32).

Single Malt Scotch with Balls: The Big 5 of "Peaty, Smoky" include Lagavulin 16, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Laphroaig 10, Caol Ila 12, Talisker 10. This is heady stuff. The aroma alone (especially the Lagavulin) will have folks at the next table wondering what you're drinking. If you are not familiar with the term "Laphroaig headache"...well, you've been warned. 


Two inexpensive smoky, peaty selections: Finlaggan and Ileach, which I would swear are the same. Even their labels resemble each other.

Don't be afraid of adding water. But no ice. Adding a few drops of water, after sampling a single malt Scotch at full strength, brings out different aromas and flavors. Also, water can help cut the sting when the abv (alcohol by volume) is 43% or greater. Ice will actually bury the aromas and flavors. Add as much water as you like to make it enjoyable, but start off with a few drops. The aroma of a good single malt Scotch can be enjoyed for an hour before the liquid disappears down your throat. OK, a half hour. Well, 15 minutes, anyway.

The right glass can enhance the experience. According to Kevin Erskine in his excellent introductory book, "The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch", the aromas associated with single malt Scotch number more than 60. Or, maybe he didn't say that. It sure seems like it is that many. The typical tumbler or "rocks glass" does not enhance the aroma; it can actually detract from the many savorings your nose might pick up. A good glass for sampling single malt Scotch is tulip-shaped: wide at the bottom, narrowing at the neck, and then flairing open at the top. This serves to concentrate the aromas before releasing them. I prefer a wide opening at the top...better to stick my nose in. And if you want to talk knowledgeably about single malts, get Kevin's book. It covers the entire subject very concisely, making you sound like you know what you're talking about, even when you're on glass #4.

 And now, from my Twitter page that deals primarily with gardening, here are the sporadic, barley-infused Twitter postings for the latter half of 2010, the "Single Malt Scotch of the Night" series:


Lagavulin 16 (43% abv). Perfect blend of smoke/peat for pondering the mysteries of life on a dark night.
12 Jul



Best treatment for a sore back: a hot tub and a generous pour of 10 yr old Glenmorangie.
31 Aug



Your Wednesday is my Sunday. Mmmm, Laphroaig 10 and the hot tub at 8 a.m. Back to work, you slackers!
8 Sep

Where does the time go? It's already 8:0' Talisker!
17 Sep


Balvenie 12 Doublewood. They advertise in the Wall Street Journal everyday. But that's no quality indicator. Listerine goes down easier.
30 Sep 


Lismore 21 (43% abv). Best of the Lismore 3 pack on sale ($30) at Trader Joes. Lismore 21 retails for $150.
3 Oct

Progress at making more room in Single Malt Scotch cabinet hits a snag. Must buy more Tamdhu 10. A back of the cabinet gem!
20 Oct

Stormy, cold weekend ahead. Add compost to garden beds; get frost blankets; stock up on Macallan 10 Fine Oak Scotch.
17 Nov

Hey @BevMo : Elk Grove store has no idea what Kolsch style beer is. Never heard of Black Grouse Scotch, either. Trader Joe's does!
18 Nov
Lismore = Glenfarclas.  9 Dec

Glenfarclas 10: Breakfast of Champions...Among those who have declared victory and gone home.
29 Dec

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Storms and Trees: Inspect Them Now

   Winter storms and trees do not always get along. Most susceptible are the trees that keep their leaves year round, such as eucalyptus and camphor, along with the conifer family: pines, redwoods and cedars. All that mass of greenery acts as a sail in a heavy wind, bending the tree at ridiculous angles. Combine that with an inch or two of rain onto already saturated soils, and you have tree roots heaving towards the surface, leading to these pictures popping up on the TV news:


 The day after a major rain and wind storm is not necessarily the best day for the backyard gardener to tackle the hazardous task of cleaning up the remnants of trees, shrubs and other plants that took a beating. If wind and rain is still in the forecast, the prevalence of slippery conditions and the chance of more falling debris should limit your cleaning chores to dragging broken branches away from the scene of the crime. It is not a good day to be climbing ladders or scrambling into trees while balancing a chain saw. Leave that to the professionals.

Sacramento-based arborist Analisa Stewart of Arbor Entities offers this good piece of advice for those surveying the fallen aftermath of a major storm: "Limb failure is largely a product of poor tree maintenance over time," says Stewart. "Take care of your trees, or they may take care of themselves in ways you won't appreciate."
According to the University of California publication, "Inspect Your Landscape Trees for Hazards", a nice day in autumn (or winter, spring or summer, for that matter) is the time to take an inventory of any possible future tree damage before you, your house or your car becomes the next victim of a falling tree or branch.

Leaning Trees: Are your trees not as upright as the result of recent heavy winds? Can you see newly upheaved roots or soil around those trees? Then, immediate action is required: call in a professional, certified, bonded and insured arborist to do an onsite inspection and offer a solution. Newly leaning trees are an imminent hazard. If you have a tree that has leaned for a number of years, that tree can still be a hazard during wet, windy weather. Taking periodic photographs can help you determine if a greater lean is developing.

Multiple Trunked Trees: This co-dominant condition can result in breakage of major tree parts during storms. Usually, these trunks are weakly attached. Inspect the point where the two trunks meet; if you see splitting beginning, call in an arborist.

Weakly Attached Branches:
Trees with many branches arising from the same point on the trunk are prone to breaking during wind storms. Prune out any split branches. Thin out multiple branches.

Hanging or Broken Branches: If you see storm damaged branches hanging from the tree, remove them as soon as possible. This includes removing any completely broken branches that may be resting elsewhere in the tree's canopy.

Cracks in Trunks and Branches: Measure the depth of any cracks with a ruler. If those cracks are more than three inches deep, call in an arborist to determine the best course of action.

Dead Branches: Branches that have completely died are very likely to fall off in a storm. Dead branches are most noticeable in the summer when the tree is in full leaf.

Cavities and Decay: Large, open pockets where branches meet the trunk, or at the base of the trunk, can mean big trouble. The presence of mushrooms on the bark or on exposed roots may indicate wood decay. Call in an arborist.

The Arbor Day Foundation website has this animated guide to proper pruning techniques.

Tips for Hiring an Arborist.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's Killing the Bees? New Study Offers Clues

 What's happening with the king of garden pollinators, the honeybee? Unfortunately, they are still disappearing and dying off. Numerous causes have been proposed and investigated for the honeybee problem known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). But a 2010 USDA report about research into the disorder says the cause of the malady remains unknown. Researchers have learned that many different factors may work individually or in combination to cause the bee losses. Here's a summary of that 43-page report.

Definition of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD):
(1) the apparent rapid loss of adult worker bees from affected colonies as evidenced by weak or dead colonies with excess brood populations relative to adult bee populations;
(2) the noticeable lack of dead worker bees both within and surrounding the hive;
(3) the delayed invasion of hive pests (e.g., small hive beetles and wax moths) and kleptoparasitism (stealing food) from neighboring honey bee colonies.

• Data on overall honey bee losses for 2010 indicate an estimated 34 percent loss, which is statistically similar to losses reported in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
• Currently, at least 5 North American bumble bee species are disappearing, with one species thought to have gone extinct within the last 5 years. Despite the rapid loss of these important pollinators, little is known about the cause of their demise.
• In a study of pesticide residues in bee colonies across 23 states, researchers found numerous pesticides and metabolites in the hive samples studied, increasing the opportunity for toxic interactions between the chemicals.
• Pennsylvania State University researchers found that consumption of sub-lethal levels of certain pesticides elevates viral titers (concentration of a substance) in infected bees and appears to alter the immune responses of the bees.
• Certain pesticides are suspected as a contributing factor to CCD. It is believed that bees have a relatively weak immune system as a result, and that this may be an evolutionary consequence of feeding on nectar and pollen. It has been noted in the literature that nectar and pollen in certain plant species harbor secondary plant compounds that are toxic to bees. And recently, scientists 
reported the occurrence of pesticides in pollen.
• Studies have also confirmed suspected links between CCD and poor colony health, inadequate diet, and long-distance transportation.
• Studies also showed that bees exposed to neonicitinoid insecticides and fungicides at sub-lethal levels had impaired bee immune systems and increased levels of viruses.
• This work suggests that a combination of environmental stressors may set off a cascade of events and contribute to a colony where weakened worker bees are more susceptible to pests and pathogens.

• Two recent studies have demonstrated increased levels of the gut parasite Nosema following exposure to sub-lethal levels of imidacloprid.
• When bees were exposed to the gut parasite Nosema and insecticide imidacloprid, researchers found evidence of an interactive effect on honey bee health. Worker bees exhibited up to a fourfold increase in Nosema levels when they originated from colonies that had been fed imidacloprid, indicating a subtle sub-lethal interaction between pesticides and pathogens


• In cage studies, nurse or house bees were fed sugar solutions containing pesticides (myclobutanil, acetamiprid, fluvalinate or chlorothalonil) at dosages previously determined to be sub-lethal. These dosages approximated lower concentrations found in incoming pollen. The titers (concentrations) of several picorna-like viruses (deformed wing virus, black queen cell virus, and IAPV) were found to be elevated by one or several of the pesticides.
• University of Massachusetts scientists assessed the impact of 
imidacloprid in flowering low bush blueberry on commercial bumble bees (Bombus impatiens). After bloom ended, the bees were released to forage on surrounding plants for the remainder of
the spring and summer. Results suggest that imidacloprid reduced brood (immature bees) at the end of bloom but did not seem to affect the survival of adult workers. 

• Soil and trunk injection of imidacloprid is used to treat hardwood trees in controlling the invasive Asian longhorned beetle. There 
is the potential for movement of the pesticide into pollen and nectar of treated trees.
• Noteworthy bioassay studies revealed synergistic effects of different chemicals on honey bee health. The studies revealed that these compounds (such as the pyrethroid pesticide fluvalinate, the organophosphate pesticide coumaphos and the fungicide prochloraz, if used in combination) produced an increase in toxicity to bees over what should be expected from use of the products individually.
• These studies show that the pesticides interfere with the bees’ detoxification processes, indicating that these pesticides can be safely used individually, but point to specific pesticide and fungicide combinations that may harm bees and should be avoided.
• A study by Pennsylvania State University scientists found that one fungicide (chlorothalonil) was linked with “entombing” behavior 
in bees (a defensive behavior associated with poor health) and had particularly detrimental effects.
• Findings currently suggest an association of sub-lethal effects of pesticides with CCD. Two common miticides in particular, coumaphos and fluvalinate, which are pesticides registered for use in bee colonies to control varroa mites, are suspect, either acting individually or in combination (e.g., synergistically, where the combination of the two compounds is more toxic than either compound alone).

• One study indicates potential interactive effects between varroa mites and small hive beetles on colony losses. Other studies also identified sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids and fungicides on bees.

• Research results indicate that both supplemental protein diets and 
natural pollen feedings can increase colony strength and offset the negative impacts of stress caused by pests, pesticides, and long-distance transportation of bees by beekeeping operations.

• Studies have supported prior findings that supplemental 
protein feedings can strengthen honey bee colonies, while high-fructose corn syrup may cause colony stress.

• Other research has shown that ozone - a common means of controlling contamination and rotting of agricultural
 products - can also be used to kill bee pests and pathogens.

• Novaluron (Rimon) is a relatively new insecticide that is an insect growth regulator, labeled for lygus control in alfalfa fields during bloom. Some alfalfa leaf-cutting beekeepers have complained about poor bee returns in fields where novaluron was used, and laboratory trials have shown this pesticide to be toxic to larvae and eggs. 

• Pesticide Levels in Honey Examined. Overwintered honey is the source of carbohydrates for the bees during winter and pesticides
 present in the honey will be ingested by the bees. The miticides coumaphos and fluvalinate were observed more frequently and at higher concentrations than any other pesticide, and results 
indicate that coumaphos may have migrated from brood chamber use.

• Certain chemicals commonly found in plants may be toxic to bees, and University of Illinois researchers have found that genes in the honey bee genome may have a role in processing chemicals produced by the plant and encountered by honey bees when they feed on nectar. Recent studies revealed that several genes inside bees were activated when fed extracts of honey, pollen, and propolis. Findings indicate the possibility that genetic differences among honey bees could explain differences in their ability to detoxify compounds in nectars with high flavonoid content. This information could help beekeepers breed strains of honey bees that tolerate plants with toxic compounds in nectar and pollen.

• There was a significant reduction in adult bee longevity following
 exposure to 100 ppb of Coumaphos (an organophosphate insecticide used for control of a wide variety of livestock insects) in wax during the larval and pupal stages in worker honey bees. A 4-day reduction in summer bee lifespan was observed equaling 16 percent of the total
 lifespan of summer bees. Reduced adult longevity could impact honey production and or overwintering ability.
• First-year data from the Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) indicate that varroa mite infestation and viral diseases contribute strongly to colony losses.

• Research indicated that combinations of varroacides that are detoxified by the cytochrome P450 system (e.g., the
miticides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos, and fenproximate) tend to be significantly more toxic when applied in combination. A similar interaction occurred when bees were exposed to a
cytochrome P450-inhibiting fungicide and a varroacide that was metabolized by P450s concurrently. Normally these varroacides are well tolerated by honey bees, but pre-treatment with a P450-inhibiting fungicide greatly increases mortality in bees by a synergistic ratio of nearly 2000X in the most extreme case.
• Honeybees should not be treated with more than one P450-detoxified varroacide concurrently or sequentially since varroacides are known to accumulate in beeswax.
• Beekeepers should avoid applying P450-detoxified varroacides when honey bees are placed in orchards or other crop settings where exposure to P450-inhibiting fungicides is likely.

• Controlled burns constitute one method used to manage fuel loads in natural areas, but the effects on pollinators remains unknown. Scientists completed a 2-year study in Zion National Park, home to 474 different kinds of bees, comparing bee pollinators in adjacent plots of burned and unburned forest and shrub land. In most cases, bee abundance was significantly greater in the burned areas 2 to 5 years after the burn. Burns thus represent opportunities for increasing pollinator populations during forest regeneration.

• Scientists are testing a new brood pheromone device in honey bee colonies to improve the health of honey bees, as well as to improve crop pollination. Field trials showing that treated colonies experienced increases in pollen collection and population.

• Cranberry pollination is extremely stressful to honey bees, providing minimal nutrition for the amount of work performed.  Scientists studied whether supplemental feeding with the MegaBee® protein supplement during cranberry pollination could reduce colony losses and improve colony population growth. Results showed that colonies fed the protein supplement grew more than those that were not fed, indicating that even a relatively small addition of supplemental protein to colonies during cranberry pollination improves their growth and survival.

• To evaluate the potential benefits of nutritional supplements on bee health, scientists compared protein levels, endocrine development, and immune response in adult worker bees that were fed protein, pollen, and high-fructose corn syrup supplements. Results showed that protein and pollen supplements produced similarly positive effects, but bees fed high-fructose corn syrup had
significantly reduced immune responses. 

• With the knowledge that pesticides could potentially have significant effects on bees, EPA recognizes the need for more
comprehensive testing of some pesticides and possible revision of past standards.

• Develop best management practices for non-Apis bees to provide alternative pollinators for crops, gardens, and natural areas.

• Guidance on managing blue orchard bees for almonds is now available to promote use of this bee and reduce pressure on 
honey bee colonies.
Bee Swarm in Chinese Pistache Tree
• Researchers are pursuing additional outreach opportunities 
using social networking sites and public Web pages. 
Honey bee health is featured on YouTube
on beekeeper Web forums such as; 
a new Extension website  has been assembled to provide reliable research-based information to beekeepers and the general public.
Bee Swarm Marching to a Hive

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fungus Gnats on Houseplants: How To Control Them

 Winter's rain, snow, wind and cold tends to turn a gardener's attention to the indoor jungle, and the creatures that are hiding there.
From the garden e-mail bag, Nickie asks: "I have a question for you about the little gnats that seem to come from some of our house plants. How do you get rid of them? Why do the plants produce them?"
Those are fungus gnats that live in the soil surrounding the house plant, although the adults sometimes can be found on the plant leaves. They thrive in soil that is overly moist, filled with partially composted materials and rich in organic matter. You may notice that these critters tend to come up to the surface when you water the plant thoroughly. If there are a lot of fungus gnats, you may even notice a slime trail on the top of the soil.

The larvae of fungus gnats chew on plant roots, causing stunting or plant decline. The adults can spread other plant disease problems.

How did the fungus gnats get to your potted plants? Although they possibly flew to that location, more than likely they were in the soil when you either purchased the plant or repotted it in a bigger container with more soil, especially if that soil contains homemade compost or moist, backyard dirt.

         If fungus gnats are bugging you, take them to a shady area outside for a short time on a nice day (or the garage, on a not-nice day). Water the plant thoroughly in a deep pan. When you see the gnats rise to the surface, scrape off the top inch of soil into the pan, then to the trash. Replace that soil with fresh, bug-free potting mix. 

Then, apply the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti). This will control any fungus gnat larvae that are still in container media. You may need to repeat this application every five days until the problem is under control. Commercially available nematodes (especially the Steinernema feltiae nematode) can also control fungus gnat populations. Among the sources for nematodes: Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

 To control future fungus gnat outbreaks:

• Make sure your window and door screens are secure.

• Let the surface of your houseplant soil dry out between waterings.

• Make sure the container has good drainage.

• Get rid of any standing water in the saucer below the pot. 

• If you are using homemade compost in your potting soil mix, heat it in the oven first to kill off any fungus gnat eggs.

 Colorado State University Cooperative Extension offers these suggestions for using heat to sterilize the soil:

Oven Method - Spread soil not more than four inches deep in non-plastic containers, such as seed flats, clay pots and glass or metal baking pans. Cover each container tightly with aluminum foil. Insert a meat or candy thermometer through the foil into the center of the soil. Set the oven between 180° and 200° F. Heat the soil to at least 180° F; keep at this temperature for 30 minutes. Do not allow the temperature to go above 200° F. High temperatures may produce plant toxins. After heating, cool, remove containers from the oven and leave aluminum foil in place until ready to use. The heated soil will give off an odor.

Microwave Oven Method
- Microwave soil for 90 seconds per kilogram (2.2 pounds) on full power. Don't use metal containers and aluminum foil when using a microwave.

Or, get new potting soil. Use only pasteurized container mixes for your house plants.Then, be sure to store any excess potting soil in closed containers. 

• Avoid fertilizing with excessive amounts of manure, blood meal, or similar organic materials. 

• Adding an inch of coarse sand on the top of the soil can also deter fungus gnats.

• A  Yellow Sticky White Fly Trap, placed upright in the container, is another way to monitor the adult fungus gnat population.

• What about synthetic insecticides? Sprays that include active ingredients such as bifenthrin or permethrin are often effective and persistent. However, they are more toxic to beneficial insects. Because of that, some experts advise that when using these on houseplants, move plants outdoors for treatment and wait about a day after application before bringing them back inside. Um, frankly, do you want your houseplants outside, overnight, in the winter? Not a good idea. It's a shock to their system to be outside in the first place. And you don't want to be risking that the spray might drift onto pets or children indoors. So, bypass these sprays.

         The Integrated Pest Management experts at UC Davis offer this fun way for any junior scientists in your household to help you monitor future fungus gnat populations in your plants:

• Bury one-inch cubes or slices of peeled, raw potatoes into your house plant soil, about 3/8 of an inch deep.

• Once or twice a week, unearth and examine the underside of each potato and the soil immediately beneath it. Keep a chart of the numbers of larvae found before and after any treatment to determine whether larvae are being controlled.

• You'll know if they are the fungus gnat larvae if they have a shiny black head and an elongate, whitish to clear, legless body. 

Adult fungus gnats, on the other hand, are about one-eighth of an inch long with wings, slender legs and antennae that are longer than their heads. 

• Discard the potato along with the fungus gnats; add a new piece to continue the experiment.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rose Pruning Time is Here

    Late December through January is rose pruning time here in California's Central Valley, Bay Area, low foothills, North Coast and Southern California. In these mild winter areas of California, roses do not need as severe a pruning as some East Coast-based rose primers might suggest. Here then, are some "California Rules" for pruning hybrid tea, floribundas, grandifloras and miniature roses this winter.

By the way, ask 100 rosarians how to prune roses, and you may get many varied answers. Hell, rosarians don't agree on much when it comes to roses. Which goes to show you:

  Give them the basics (sun, water, decent soil), and they can pretty much take whatever you throw at them, and come back blooming. They would appreciate a monthly fertilization during the growing season...if you remember.

Rose Pruning Tools:
• A pair of hand bypass pruners (I prefer the Felco #2 or Felco #7).
• Long Handled loppers (My Corona loppers have lasted for years).
• One or two pruning saws (a small hand-held and/or a larger bow-style pruning saw.
• Thorn resistant, long sleeved rose pruning gloves.

Pruning Roses, California Style:

• Prune out all dead, aged and weak growth. Gnarly stems and gnarly thorns indicate "Aged".


Remove any borer-infested
branches, as well. A hollow or blackened center of a stem may indicate the presence of borers. A solid, creamy colored interior is the sign of a healthy branch.

• Make no cuts on hybrid tea rose bushes or grandifloras below your knee, unless you're removing the cane completely.

• Leave as many primary canes as the plant can handle. Many cold climate rosarians might advise you to leave only three canes per hybrid tea rose bush. Here in California, a vigorously growing hybrid tea or grandiflora rose might have as many as nine healthy canes. Keep most, if not all of  those canes, for even more roses during spring through fall.

• Try to make all cuts without extreme angles. Nothing exceeding 45 degree cuts; 90 degree cuts (or as close to that as possible) is fine. This is especially true of thick canes. The low part of a 45 degree cut on these would extend past, ultimately damaging, weakening or killing the eye (new bud) you are trying to cut above. 

• All cuts should be made one-quarter inch above a dormant eye or intersection of two branches.


• Do not use glue, tree seal or paint on pruning cuts. A clean cut will heal much more quickly when left alone.

• When you are finished, strip all remaining leaves from your roses, then blow or rake all the leaves out of the beds and send them to the dump, not the compost pile. Since all the fungus spores and insect eggs are there from the last growing season, removing these from your yard now reduces next year's problems.

Visit the Lance Walheim website for information about his excellent rose books!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Safe Plants For You, Poisonous For Your Pets

 According to the California Poison Control Center,  some plants that are not a problem for humans can be a problem for dogs and cats. The plants in this list are considered to be safe to humans, but can cause toxic reactions in your pets. However, even non-toxic plants can cause vomiting. Also children can choke on a plant piece, causing gagging or choking.

Notice that this list contains many pet-unfriendly plants that are houseplants or cut flowers, including the Corn Plant (and most other Dracaena species, including Lucky Bamboo), Cordyline (including the Good Luck Plant), Lilies and Schefflera.

Also: you may enjoy munching on grapes straight from the vine...but those will cause adverse reactions in dogs and cats.  


Because dogs, especially, will eat large amounts, it is important to keep pets and these plants apart:

• Cordyline  Cordyline spp
• Cornplant   Dracaena fragrans
• Daylily  Hermocallis spp (poisonous to cats)
• Dracaena  Dracaena spp
• Dwarf schefflera  Schefflera arboricola
• Easter lily   Lilium longiflorum
• European grape  Vitus vinifera
• Good luck plant   Cordyline or Dracaena terminalis
• Grape, wild  Vitus californica
• Janet Craig plant  Dracaena deremensis
• Lily (most),  Lilium spp
• Lucky bamboo  Dracaena sanderiana
• Macadamia nut  Macadamia spp
• Ribbon plant   Dracaena sanderiana
• Ti plant  Cordyline or Dracaena terminalis 
• Tiger lily   Lilium spp
• Wine grape   Vitus vinifera

For a more complete list of poisonous and non-poisonous plants, click here.


Call your state's poison center if a person or an animal has eaten a plant. 

The California Poison Control System is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-222-1222. 

If you are not in California, call 1-800-222-1222 to be connected to your nearest poison control center.


• Do NOT induce vomiting.
• Remove any plant parts from the mouth or hands.
• Wash around the mouth and hands and give a few sips of water.
• Check for any irritation of the skin, mouth or tongue.
• Call the California Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222
• Even if you are not sure, call the poison center for help. It will not be a waste of
• Do not wait for symptoms to appear. Treatment will be more difficult once
symptoms have developed.
• If you are advised to go to the hospital, take the plant or part of the plant with you.